Canvas Category Machinery : Industrial Robot : Cobot
Since 2005, Universal Robots has worked to make a difference in our customers’ lives in ways that matter most to them. More than simply automation, Universal Robots changes how people work and live around the globe by empowering their ideas and dreams - whether it’s helping a non-profit improve people’s vision in the poorest countries or allowing a manufacturer to reduce the strain of repetitive tasks. Advanced tools, our easy-to-use robot arms are used by companies and organizations of all sizes to help and address market volatility. UR’s cobot solutions deliver the flexibility and financial return that manufacturers need to compete and win in any market condition.
10 cobots guarantee ‘just in time’ manufacture of gearboxes
Gearbox manufacturer SEAT Componentes needed to automate the unloading of 18,000 machined gears a day at its plant in Spain to guarantee the quality of the parts. The company integrated 10 collaborative robots from Universal Robots using only internal resources.
This formula made it possible for SEAT to keep know-how on cobot configuration in-house, eliminating extra programming and maintenance costs. The do-it-yourself installation was done without changing the existing factory layout, allowing new applications to be configured in less than 1 hour. As a result, the company has reduced errors, improved worker safety, and now has a team prepared to take on new automation projects.
Cobot creates ‘cell manufacturing dream’ for plastics thermoformer
Thermoforming, a technology that is more than a century old, uses sheet plastic that is heated to become soft so it can be vacuum-formed in or around a mold. Excess plastic is then cut off to create final products with dimensions that range from a few inches to the size of a room.
When Kal Plastics needed to replace a CNC machine that was nearing the end of its life, Goff was presented with an opportunity. She set out to research the use of cobots for her own business and agreed to share her findings at the organization’s national conference. “I did my homework and found that Universal Robots was the global leader in the collaborative robot space,” Goff said. “They came out and gave us a demonstration, and when I looked at the numbers, they were really attractive. I was looking at getting another five-axis CNC router, and at the time it would have been a $250,000 investment and I would have waited 12 months to take delivery. When I met with UR, I was quoted two weeks to get the equipment, and the entry point was a quarter or a fifth of the cost.”
Code-free Programming with Universal Robots
Micropsi Industries’ AI-Powered Robot Controller Is Now Hardware Agnostic
Micropsi Industries’ artificial intelligence-powered robot control software MIRAI, which helps automate complex tasks too difficult or costly to automate with traditional programming, will soon be accessible for all robot users. Previously compatible exclusively with Universal Robots and FANUC robots, MIRAI will be available for KUKA robots in early Q4, followed by other collaborative robots (cobots) and industrial robots as requested.
Using AI, MIRAI generates robot movements directly and in real time. Robot skills (or specific tasks) are trained, not programmed, in a few days through human demonstration, without users needing programming or AI knowledge. To start, the robot is repeatedly shown both a task and the environment with the help of a camera that is typically mounted on the robot’s wrist. The recorded movements are then transformed into a skill capable of handling variances and dynamic environmental conditions.
Increase Capacity with Automated Night Shifts
Sanding Cobot Delivers 40% Increase in Throughput at Andrew Pearce Bowls
Cobots Install Cable Ties
The cobot program for installing the cable ties was designed in Polyscope, Universal’s programming software. The program works for two different harness assembly boards.
Finally, we did an ergonomic analysis of the new cable tie installation process using RULA and JSI. After measuring the angles of various body parts, the values of Groups A and B were calculated according to RULA. The value for Group A was 3, and the value for Group B was 4, resulting in a final score of 4. This score is significantly lower than the original manual operation. Similarly, the JSI for the automated station was 4.5, which is lower than the risk level for the manual operation. Our project clearly shows that cable tie installation task could be automated, improving ergonomics.
🦾 Factory Visit: Investment bankers tour client’s robot-filled machine shop
“Many shops can’t get the parts out because their quality control has gone from four days to six weeks. They just don’t have the staff and it becomes a major bottleneck in the company,” Dave Henderson explains. New Scale’s Q-Span workstation is a robotic arm that has grippers on the end that can pick up parts and then measure them using an automated dimensional gauging system.
“We saw a need for lower cost, easier to use, less risky, and more flexible automation to allow small- and medium-size enterprises to leverage automation just as the big guys have for decades,” according to Josh Pawley. “The shortage of welders and skilled fabricators is the biggest driver of our business,” says Pawley. “It’s largely the nature of welding – it’s dull, dirty and dangerous in many cases. There are not a lot of folks going into the space, and the average age of a welder is in the late 50s. But the most dull and dirty jobs can be supplemented with automation.”
“Incremental automation is very important, the ability to break it down into step-by-step pieces,” Henderson says. “We consistently get requests from people who were thinking of heavy integration, but they haven’t had any automation before, and they wanted a turnkey system which cost $1 million and take a year to implement. “But traditional automation for some fabricators is too much to jump into to begin with. We can get them up and running in three months for $100,000. By doing that you empower your staff to operate machines, as opposed to having turnkey systems that are dependent on the system integrator. So you get the best out of both automation and your people.”
Case Study | Napco Brands: 15% throughput increase using UR robots and Robotiq Palletizing Solutions
Deploying a Robotic Workforce: Universal Robots and Yaskawa Motoman Partner with RaaS Company
Universal Robots and Yaskawa Motoman partnered with the Robotics as a Service (RaaS) company Rapid Robotics earlier this month to deliver robotic automation to a greater market share.
Labor shortages have forced manufacturers to adopt collaborative technology
Robotic screwdriving differs from more traditional applications, such as fixed or handheld screwdriving. Among other things, robots make it easy to do quick changeovers and run small, varying size batches of related assemblies. In addition, robots can drive screws from all directions without ergonomic concerns and with varying degrees of torque. They also have the ability to drive different sizes of screws using various feeders for each type of fastener. Manufacturers can achieve higher cycles per screwdriver spindle and faster cycle time per screw, while improving quality.
“[Automated] screwdriving used to be a task that was complex, costly and took up a large footprint on the assembly line,” explains Leclerc. “As such, it was reserved for use in vast plants with big automation budgets producing in high volumes. “There are screwdriving systems that can be bought off the shelf, shipped within a few business days, easily installed and adapted to production changes,” claims Leclerc. “It’s a completely new era.”
Loading glass is a tough and delicate job.— Universal Robots (@Universal_Robot) September 20, 2022
Let robots do it 🦾
Learn how Matsunami Glass increased production by 50% and improved working conditions for its employees:
➡️ https://t.co/4OEeUxyF7A#glass #manufacturing #automation pic.twitter.com/9DnTTvEu5X
MachineMetrics, Universal Robots’ Partner to Automate Robot Performance Monitoring and Intelligence
MachineMetrics, the leader in machine connectivity and production analytics for manufacturers, today announced the availability of their Connector for Universal Robots (UR) to easily connect to and capture valuable data from any equipment from UR. This latest connector, now available through the UR+ program to all current UR cobot users, enables instant insights into the health and performance of their cobots. Now manufacturers can maximize the uptime of their cobots to increase productivity and drive additional throughput with no additional headcount.
Datanomix and Flexxbotics Partner to Automate Production Monitoring for Universal Robots
Datanomix, maker of the industry’s only Automated Production Intelligence™ software platform, announced support for monitoring Universal Robots for real-time visibility into robot performance. By partnering with Flexxbotics, a leader in robotics process improvement technology, Datanomix extends its automated production intelligence coverage to Universal Robot cells, helping power lights-out and automated operations at precision manufacturers.
Robot welding: Load programs and swap between parts in just 15 mins 🦾 pic.twitter.com/v5hESJ2ATf— Universal Robots (@Universal_Robot) May 19, 2022
Robots and CNC Machines - An Assembly Configuration Made in Heaven
The real challenge with manufacturing comes from making all of your equipment work together. Electrical and automation controls have been around for decades, and the technology has advanced at nearly overwhelming rates. It’s almost a guarantee that any new machine will need some sort of custom interface board or network protocol to communicate and work in harmony with the rest of the process or overall system.
Two types of machines have a tendency to be a bit more difficult for novice users to integrate into a larger system scope - robots and CNC machines.
Collaborative Robots Help Fiat Ramp Up EV Production
To produce the 500 EV, the Mirafiori factory received a €700 million facelift, including state-of-the-art technology such as collaborative robots. To automate a series of complex assembly line operations and quality controls, Stellantis installed 11 cobots from Universal Robots A/S.
Some of the assembly processes required the introduction of specific automation technologies to ensure the quality and repeatability needed to meet product standards. Another criteria was ergonomics, because of the average age of operators at the Mirafiori facility. The collaborative applications have addressed operating precision and quality, in addition to improving a series of production tasks previously performed manually.
How AMRs change the safety equation
Soon, manufacturers and buyers wanted clear safety standards for AMRs from organizations like A3. They asked, “What guidance can you provide through a standard to help us understand how we can assess the safety of these devices?” Wise was on the committee that created Mobile Robot Standard R15.08-1-2020, the new Mobile Industrial Safety Standard. In April, Fetch announced full conformance with the standard.
As far as safety standards, Universal Robots follows the ISO standard that came out in 2011 (ISO 10218-1). This ISO standard is Part 1 of ANSI/RIA R15.06. She noted that European companies, like Universal Robots, tend to have higher requirements for safety, given the requirements of the European Directives.
Industry 5.0: Adding the Human Edge to Industry 4.0
So, Industry 5.0 does not so much represent yet another Industrial Revolution but rather serves to augment Industry 4.0 technologies by strengthening the collaboration between humans and robots. With Industry 5.0, the nine pillars of Industry 4.0 are expanded upon by a drive to place human creativity and well-being at the center of industry – to merge the speed and efficiency of machine technologies with the ingenuity and talent of human counterparts.
The integration of cobots and humans bring the potential to personalize and customize goods at an industrial level. As cobots execute repetitive tasks with exacting and predictable efficiency, humans can oversee the process to ensure that real-time requests for customization are understood and realized.
High-Torque Screwdriving Solution [ESTIC × Universal Robots]
Marlan Lets Cobot Perform Heavy Repetitive Sanding Work
One of the operations that are common when processing solid surface products is sanding. This is heavy, repetitive work that requires skilled personnel. Such personnel is becoming increasingly difficult to find. In addition, it is important that the quality is guaranteed. It became increasingly difficult for Marlan to organize this task properly. The company therefore went in search of a way to automate this process as much as possible.
After delivery, the cobot was deployed within two weeks. Heerema was able to program it within half an hour, without any programming experience. After the implementation and installation, two employees were trained and the cobot was fine-tuned to determine the correct pressure when sanding. This step was also the start of further optimizing other parts of the production. According to Heerema, some employees were immediately enthusiastic, but others were afraid of losing their jobs. “But that’s not what we’re about at all. We want to make it easier for employees and give them the opportunity to increase their output.” The employees are now fully accustomed to the cobot and see it as a kind of colleague.
The cobot at Marlan is currently used for sanding bathtubs. This is a large object that is difficult to sand manually. A major problem here is monitoring consistent quality. Heerema: “But with a cobot you can guarantee an even pressure which also ensures constant product quality.”
MiR+UR autonomous picking and transport
Plug-and-Play Robot Ecosystems on the Rise
Robot ecosystems are bringing plug-and-play ease to compatible hardware and software peripherals, while adding greater value and functionality to robots. Some might argue that the first robot ecosystem was the network of robot integrators that has expanded over the last couple decades to support robot manufacturers and their customers. Robot integrators continue to be vital to robotics adoption and proliferation. Yet an interesting phenomenon began to take shape a few years ago with the growing popularity of collaborative robots and the industry’s focus on ease of use.
Campbell describes the typical process for engineering a new gripping solution for a robot: “You have to first engineer a mechanical interface, which may mean an adapter plate, and maybe some other additional hardware. If you’re an integrator, it must be documented, because everything you do as an integrator you have to document. You have to engineer the electrical interface, how you’re going to control it, what kind of I/O signals, what kind of sensors. And then you have to design some kind of software.
“When I talk to integrators, they say it’s typically 1 to 3 days’ worth of work just to put a simple gripper on a robot. What we’ve been able to do in the UR+ program is chip away at time and cost throughout the project.”
3D Vision Technology Advances to Keep Pace With Bin Picking Challenges
When a bin has one type of object with a fixed shape, bin picking is straightforward, as CAD models can easily recognize and localize individual items. But randomly positioned objects can overlap or become entangled, presenting one of the greatest challenges in bin picking. Identifying objects with varying shapes, sizes, colors, and materials poses an even larger challenge, but by deploying deep learning algorithms, it is possible to find and match objects that do not conform to one single geometrical description but belong to a general class defined by examples, according to Andrea Pufflerova, Public Relations Specialist at Photoneo.
“A well-trained convolutional neural network (CNN) can recognize and classify mixed and new types of objects that it has never come across before,”
Making Welding Accessible to All
With the ongoing shortage of skilled workers and the pickup in the economy, suppliers of welding equipment are finding ways to making welding easier for those working in manufacturing. Automation is the leading technique among many.
“Manual welding is an area with a very high degree of repetitive motion injury, resulting in turnover and associated costs,” he said. “OSHA puts out a statistic that says any investment in safety yields a six-to-one payback. So, robotic welding is an investment in safety, as well as productivity and quality. Take all these factors into account and you get a pretty big payback number.”
Introducing Amazon SageMaker Reinforcement Learning Components for open-source Kubeflow pipelines
Woodside Energy uses AWS RoboMaker with Amazon SageMaker Kubeflow operators to train, tune, and deploy reinforcement learning agents to their robots to perform manipulation tasks that are repetitive or dangerous.
You're Hired: Recruiting Mobile Robots
While industrial robots have been part of the automation mix for decades, key advances in sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), software, machine vision, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), among other technologies, are coalescing to empower an emerging category of more capable mobile and collaborative robots that are easier to program, less expensive to deploy, and far more flexible in the kinds of tasks they can perform.
Can a cobot offer the flexibility of a human on the shop floor?
Since the Great Recession more than a decade ago, metal fabricators aren’t necessarily employing people unless they are absolutely needed. Manufacturing companies are lean, which helps to keep fixed costs down and the business more manageable when business slows.
It’s also a gamble. Unless shop floor personnel are cross-trained, the absence of a machine operator can sabotage productivity goals for the day. While more automated bending systems are being sold to North American fabricators, many shops still require an operator to sit in front of the press brake to get parts formed.
Teradyne and Universal Robots Announce Agreement for Teradyne to Acquire Universal Robots, Leader in Collaborative Robots
Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE:TER) and the shareholders of Universal Robots (UR) today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which Teradyne will acquire privately held Universal Robots, the Danish pioneer of collaborative robots, for $285 million net of cash acquired plus $65 million if certain performance targets are met extending through 2018. The acquisition has been approved by the Board of Directors of each company and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015 subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.